Violence against men
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|Violence against men|
|Sexual assault and rape|
Violence against men (VAM), or gender-based violence, consists of violent acts that are disproportionately or exclusively committed against men. Men are overrepresented as both victims and perpetrators of violence. Sexual violence against men is treated differently in any given society from that committed against women, and may be unrecognized by international law.
Violence by women against men
Violence by women against men is widespread and underreported. The official figure in the United Kingdom, for example, is about 50% of the number of acts of violence by men against women, but there are indications that only about 10% of male victims of female violence report the incidents to the authorities, mainly due to taboos and fears of misunderstanding created by a culture of masculine expectations. A report from Canada even found men to be more than 22% more likely to be victims of spousal violence than women. Sexual violence by women against men is even more taboo and even less studied or recognized.
Studies of social attitudes show violence is perceived as more or less serious depending on the gender of victim and perpetrator. According to a study in the publication Aggressive Behavior, violence against women was about a third more likely to be reported by third parties to the police regardless of the gender of the attacker, although the most likely to be reported gender combination was a male perpetrator and female victim. The use of stereotypes by law enforcement is a recognised issue, and international law scholar Solange Mouthaan argues that, in conflict scenarios, sexual violence against men has been ignored in favor of a focus on sexual violence against women and children. One explanation for this difference in focus is the physical power that men hold over women making people more likely to condemn violence with this gender configuration. The concept of male survivors of violence go against social perceptions of the male gender role, leading to low recognition and few legal provisions. Often there is no legal framework for a woman to be prosecuted when committing violent offenses against a man.
Richard Felson challenges the assumption that violence against women is different from violence against men. The same motives play a role in almost all violence, regardless of gender: to gain control or retribution and to promote or defend self-image.
The 2013 "Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project (PASK)", published by the Domestic Violence Research Group (Springer Publishing journal "Partner Abuse") again reiterated the findings of parity in rates of both perpetration and victimisation for men and women. The "Unprecedented Domestic Violence Study Affirms Need to Recognize Male Victims".
Men who are victims of domestic violence are at times reluctant to report it or to seek help. There is also an established paradigm that only males perpetrate domestic violence and are never victims. As with other forms of violence against men, intimate partner violence is generally less recognized in society when the victims are men. Violence of women against men in relationships is often 'trivialized' due to the supposed weaker physique of women; in such cases the use of dangerous objects and weapons is omitted. Research since the 1990s has identified issues of perceived and actual bias when police are involved, with the male victim being negated even whilst injured.
Unneeded male circumcision is considered, by several groups, to be a form of violence against young men and boys. The International Criminal Court considers forced circumcision to be an "inhumane act". Some court decisions have found it to be a violation of a child's rights. In certain countries, such as Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Turkey and the United States, newborn baby males are routinely circumcised without the child's consent. As well, the Jewish and Muslim faiths circumcise boys at a young age. It is also practiced in Coptic Christianity and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. In Africa, forced circumcision and violence are taking place.
Any cutting whatsoever of a female's genitals, also known as female genital mutilation, has been banned in most Western countries, starting in Sweden in 1982 and the United States in 1997. When Sweden outlawed it in 1982, it became the first Western country to do so.:611 Several former colonial powers, including Belgium, Britain, France and the Netherlands, followed suit, either with new laws or by making clear that it was covered by existing legislation.
Although a 2012 court ruling in Germany put the practice of male cutting under question, calling circumcision "grievous bodily harm," the German parliament passed a law to keep circumcision of boys legal. As of 2016, cutting of boys' foreskins is still legal worldwide.
In situations of structural violence that include war and genocide, men and boys are frequently singled out and killed. The murder of targets by sex during the Kosovo War, estimates of civilian male victims of mass killings suggest that they made up more than 90% of all civilian casualties. Other examples of selective mass killings of civilian men include some of Stalin's purges.
Non-combatant men and boys have been and continue to be the most frequent targets of mass killing and genocidal slaughter, as well as a host of lesser atrocities and abuses. Gendercide Watch, an independent human rights group, documents multiple gendercides aimed at males (adult and children): The Anfal Campaign, (Iraqi Kurdistan), 1988 – Armenian Genocide (1915-17) – Rwanda, 1994. Forced conscription can also be considered gender-based violence against men.
In armed conflict, sexual violence is committed by men against men as psychological warfare in order to demoralize the enemy. The practice dates back to Ancient Persia and the Crusades. Castration is used as a means of physical torture with strong psychological effects, namely the loss of the ability to procreate and the loss of the status of a full man. International criminal law does not consider gender based sexual violence against men a separate type of offense and treats it as war crimes or torture. The culture of silence around this issue often leaves men with no support.
In 2012, a UNHCR report stated that "SGBV (sexual and gender based violence) against men and boys has generally been mentioned as a footnote in reports". In one study, less than 3% of organizations that address rape as a weapon of war, mention men or provide services to male victims. It was noted in 1990 that the English language is "bereft of terms and phrases which accurately describe male rape".
|Male offender/Male victim||65.3%|
|Male offender/Female victim||22.7%|
|Female offender/Male victim||9.6%|
|Female offender/Female victim||2.4%|
In the U.S., crime statistics from the 1976 onwards show that men make up the majority of the homicide perpetrators regardless if the victim is female or male. Men are also over-represented as victims in homicide involving both male and female offenders. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, women who kill men are most likely to kill acquaintances, spouses or boyfriends while men are more likely to kill strangers. In many cases, women kill men due to being victims of intimate partner violence, however it should be noted that this research was conducted on women on death row, a sample size of approximately 97 during the last 100 years.
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They [women] typically kill people they know, primarily men - most often husbands or lovers in domestic encounters (Mann 1996; Campbell 1993; Silverman et al. 1993; Weisheit 1993; Browne 1987; Goetting 1987; Wilbanks 1983). ... Many female murderers have killed husbands or boyfriends who battered them repeatedly (Gillespie 1989; Browne 1987).
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